Simulation of the Impact of Higher Ammonia Recycle Loads Caused by Upgrading Anaerobic Sludge Digesters

Kraemer, Jeremy T.; Bagley, David M.
October 2005
Water Quality Research Journal of Canada (Canadian Association o;2005, Vol. 40 Issue 4, p491
Academic Journal
Upgrading conventional single-stage mesophilic anaerobic digestion to an advanced digestion technology can increase sludge stability, reduce pathogen content, increase biogas production, and also increase ammonia concentrations recycled back to the liquid treatment train. Limited information is available to assess whether the higher ammonia recycle loads from an anaerobic sludge digestion upgrade would lead to higher discharge effluent ammonia concentrations. Biowin, a commercially available wastewater treatment plant simulation package, was used to predict the effects of anaerobic digestion upgrades on the liquid train performance, especially effluent ammonia concentrations. A factorial analysis indicated that the influent total Kjeldahl nitrogen (TKN) and influent alkalinity each had a 50-fold larger influence on the effluent NH3 concentration than either the ambient temperature, liquid train SRT or anaerobic digestion efficiency. Dynamic simulations indicated that the diurnal variation in effluent NH3 concentration was 9 times higher than the increase due to higher digester VSR. Higher recycle NH3 loads caused by upgrades to advanced digestion techniques can likely be adequately managed by scheduling dewatering to coincide with periods of low influent TKN load and ensuring sufficient alkalinity for nitrification.


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